Ever since being hired by the UFC back in 2005, Thiago Alves has competed in the league’s welterweight division and even challenged for the belt against Georges St-Pierre in 2009. However, after losing to Carlos Condit two years ago and having a talk with nutritionist Mike Dolce, “Pitbull” decided to drop down to lightweight and prepared for a year to accomplish that feat.
At UFC 205 last November in New York City, though, the Brazilian ended up missing the 155-pound limit before losing a decision to Jim Miller. And, according to the fighter, a big part of the reason was that his nutritionist “abandoned” him three weeks before the fight.
The partnership between Alves and Dolce, which began in 2010, didn’t exactly end cordially, according to the Brazilian. In a conversation with AG. Fight, Alves said that after a year of planning and preparing, Dolce left him with less than a month left until the fight and that this attitude put an end to their friendship. Today, the two of them don’t even talk anymore.
Looking ahead, though, the Brazilian pointed out that the events have their upside because now, he is working with professionals who, according to him, work more efficiently and are more reliable than Dolce.
“I don’t talk to him anymore”, Alves said. “It happens, but I think it was better this way because nowadays I only have positive people in my life and I don’t have anyone neglecting me. We had planned everything and I talked to him about a year before making my debut at lightweight. But my communication with him was difficult. I live in Florida and he lives in Las Vegas. And I wanted to work with people who are with me nowadays. The level of professionalism here compared to Mike’s is just different.”
“But as I had a friendship with the guy we talked and he said: ‘You can let me be there with you, don’t worry, you are my partner and helped me to create my business and if you need me I’ll be there.‘ So, good. But three weeks before the fight, the guy disappeared: ‘I can’t be there.’ What do you mean you won’t be there? We had arranged that a year earlier. Long story short, in the end it turned out right because I currently work with people who welcome me with open arms. And, nowadays, making weight for 170 is easy. I only have about six more pounds to lose until tomorrow, which is nothing.”
Back at welterweight after his unsuccesful trip down in weight, Alves will be facing Patrick Coté on Saturday night in Buffalo. No matter the result, “Pitbull” said he doesn’t intend to go back down ever again because the cut took away one of his strongest assets inside the cage.
“I’ve always fought at welterweight, I even fought for the belt there. And I’ve always been in the rankings, I’ve always been at the top. I dropped out of the rankings because I spent more than two years on the sidelines with injuries and trying to get down to lightweight. I wanted to try (it). But welterweight is my weight class, definitely. I have too much muscle for my frame and I lose a lot of muscle mass (cutting down to 155 pounds). The way I was losing it took away some of the strenghts that brought me here. I don’t think about going back down at all.”
A UFC fighter for more than ten years now, “Pitbull” can now look back on his at-times rocky relationship with weight limits and healthy training, accept the mistakes of the past and make sure he doesn’t repeat them.
“In the old days, I didn’t know what I was doing when it came to losing weight”, Alves said. “My strength and conditioning coach was crazy and made me do too much. I think one of the reasons I suffered so many injuries was the aggressiveness that I did my weightlifting with. Nowadays, I work with high-quality professionals who try to get involved in the training and understand what I’m doing […]. When it comes to nutrition, I’m another person. I had never been dieting in my life before coming to the US and I only began to understand dieting about six, seven years ago. Nowadays, I have knowledge not only in regards to training but also when it comes to nutrition.”
Coming off two consecutive losses, Alves will be trying to get back to his winning ways against Patrick Coté on the main card of Saturday’s UFC 210. At 33 years of age, the Brazilian thaiboxer owns a career record of 21 wins and 11 defeats.